Sunday, January 19, 2020

President Zelensky signs decree to call up for military service from age of 18

January 19, 2020 (UNIAN) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has signed a decree on calling up for military service from the age of 18. "To call up for military service suitable for health reasons male citizens of Ukraine who are 18 years old by the day of departure to military units, and older persons under the age of 27 and who are not eligible for exemption or deferment from conscription for military service," according to the document posted on the president's website on January 16. 
The draft campaign in 2020 will last from April to June and from October to December. As UNIAN reported earlier, an autumn campaign to call up for military service kicked off in Ukraine on October 1, 2019. The draft age in Ukraine was set at 20-27 years. The duration of service was 18 months, as well as 12 months for those who have higher education (master or specialist degrees). Army conscripts are not involved in combat missions in the area of the Joint Forces Operation in Donbas, eastern Ukraine.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Historical seminar in the Poltava Battle Museum

January 18, 2020 Today in the Museum of the Battle of Poltava, a scientific seminar dedicated to the 169th anniversary of the birth of Ivan Pavlovsky, founder and first director of the museum,  was held. My report was devoted to the work of the Swedish historian Håkan Henriksson, research archivist at ArkivCentrum Örebro län, Örebro, Sweden. 
Håkan Henriksson, research archivist at ArkivCentrum Örebro län, Örebro, Sweden

One of his latest articles is dedicated to the fate of the Ukrainian Cossacks, who were captured by the Swedish during the Great Northern War. For seminar participants, I translated an article by Hokan Henriksson: “Ukrainian Cossacks and other prisoners of war (POW) in Sweden during the Great Northern War (1700–1721)” for our local historians and museum's scientists. Altogether, more than 13.500 POW were brought to Sweden during the Great Northern War (1700–1721) of those about 650 were Ukrainian Cossacks. 
This article gives an overview of the occurrence of prisoners of war in the Swedish Empire during the Great Northern War: their capture, the number of prisoners of war, their nationalities, how they were treated and with a focus on fates of many Ukrainian Cossacks captured by the army of Charles XII. All historians and scientists working for the museum are looking for to meeting Mr.Henriksson in May 2020 in our museum when he is going to deliver us a lecture, dedicated to the Great Northern war 1700-1721.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Zelensky invites Sweden to join investigation into UIA plane crash

January 10, 2020 (UKRINFORM) President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in a phone conversation with Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, expressed condolences to the families of the Swedish citizens killed in the UIA plane crash in Iran and invited Sweden to join the investigation, according to the president’s press service. "We are making every effort to find out the causes of the plane crash and are ready to closely cooperate with Sweden. Our task is to find out the truth. This is the main thing,” Zelensky said, inviting Sweden to join the investigation. He noted that Ukraine is ready to participate as much as possible in the investigation in line with international law, in particular, the Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation. 
The president reminded that the day before a group of Ukrainian experts arrived in Iran to assist in the investigation. He also expressed condolences and words of support for the relatives and friends of the Swedish citizens killed in the plane crash in Iran. “Ukraine is stunned by the tragedy. Thank you for your solidarity and empathy,” Zelensky said. In turn, Stefan Löfven expressed condolences from the people of Sweden and said that official Stockholm was ready to assist in ensuring a transparent investigation. Zelensky also stressed that Ukraine was in constant contact with a group of experts in Tehran and would inform its partners of the progress of the investigation. During the talk, it was noted the importance of the phone call between the foreign ministers of Ukraine and Sweden the day before, who discussed cooperation in the investigation into the plane crash. As reported, January 9 was declared the day of mourning in Ukraine due to the crash of a UIA plane in Iran.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

The man who saw the future

Recently, secret details appeared on the Internet from the life of one of the most mysterious men of the 20th century. I am talking about the famous Wolf Messing, whom some considered the greatest psychic, while others saw him as a charlatan. 

Some details of Messing's meeting with Joseph Stalin appeared. Reportedly, it all started in Gomel, where two strangers, having heard about supernatural abilities, took Messing to a hotel to meet with Stalin. At first, Stalin did not believe in Messing's extraordinary abilities and decided to test him. Stalin's first task was to get 100 thousand rubles from a local bank while showing only a blank piece of paper. Messing performed this task successfully - he went to the bank, hypnotized the cashier, received the money and brought it to Stalin.

 After that, Stalin invited Messing to Moscow, where he gave him the task to penetrate without a pass into the well-guarded office of  Lavrentiy Beria, chief of the Soviet security and secret police apparatus (NKVD). Messing also performed this task brilliantly. As a result, the psychic became a frequent guest with Joseph Stalin. It should be noted that so far there is no evidence for all this, so we can only believe that this was really so.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Swedish alcohol burner in the kitbag of the Soviet officer.

January 3, 2020 Recently I cleaned up a garage that for many years belonged to my father-in-law. He took part in the Second World War and then at the rank of Colonel served in the Poltava anti-aircraft missile high military school. He was among those who tested in the late 1960s the first Soviet anti-aircraft missile systems and trained cadets to use them. One such system was the 9K31 Strela-1 (English: Arrow-1), a highly mobile, short-range, low altitude infra-red guided surface-to-air missile system. Mostly all tests and exercises for cadets took place on the training ground near the city of Berdiansk, located on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov. What I’ve found among different military items in my father-in-law’s garage probably was used in the field camp for boiling water. I am talking about an old smoky brass alcohol burner that you can see in the photo below.
I filled the burner with ethanol and in 3 minutes I got a cup of boiling water. In spite of being old, the burner worked perfectly. You can see it in the video below.

But what surprised me most was what I saw when I cleaned the smoked bottom of the spirit lamp with sandpaper. You can see it by yourself in the photo below.
Unfortunately, the father-in-law had passed away many years ago and I can’t ask him how he got this alcohol burner that was made in a country that in those distant years could hardly be considered an ally of the Soviet Union….

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists exchange prisoners

December 29, 2019 (BBC News Europe) Pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine have concluded a long-awaited prisoner exchange of 200 prisoners, the office of the Ukrainian president said. Ukraine's government received 76 captives, with the pro-Russian separatists reportedly taking 124. Russian and Ukrainian authorities agreed to the swap - which is aimed at improving ties - at talks in December. 
Relations between the two countries deteriorated in 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula. Russian-backed rebels then began an insurgency in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. More than 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict. This is the second prisoner exchange involving Russia and Ukraine. In September, 24 sailors seized by Russia in the Kerch Strait off Crimea in November 2018 were released and - controversially - a "person of interest" over the downing of flight MH17 which killed 298 people was handed to Russia. Sunday's swap took place at a check point near the industrial town of Horlivka in the Donetsk region. 

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Ukraine, Sweden Discuss Security Cooperation

December 21, 2019 ( Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) Oleksiy Danilov held a meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Sweden to Ukraine Tobias Thyberg on December 20th. During the meeting, the parties discussed the current issues of bilateral security cooperation and the possibilities of its further expansion, the NSDC’s press service stated. The NSDC secretary expressed gratitude for the support provided by Sweden to Ukraine in difficult times of countering external aggression and an unstable security environment.

“The war will gradually move to cyberspace, and cyber weapons will become the major weapon, and we must be ready to counter it. Cyber ??and information security are our key priorities,” Danilov said. Thyberg noted the positive dynamics of bilateral cooperation, particularly in the training of Ukrainian military within the framework of the Canadian UNIFIER mission and in providing expert support in the reform of the Security Service of Ukraine. The ambassador also suggested that it might be promising for Ukraine and Sweden to expand cooperation in the Navy, as Ukraine and Sweden are maritime nations, and our defense methods and structures are somewhat similar.